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#466190 - 06/08/13 07:39 AM Today's Belize News: June 8, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

Norwegian Cruise Line Port Proposal on Crawl Caye denied

SPTC News: street projects continue, municipal land acquisition in process
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) announced on Tuesday June 4th that they are acquiring a prime property in the down town area for the municipality. It was the major of several other announcements made by Mayor Daniel Guerrero when he appeared on the local morning show. Also announced was the continuation of the paving of streets in the Eliot Subdivision (also referred to as the Back-a-town area) as well as other main streets used throughout town. “The SPTC has set up a steering committee that will look at acquiring a number of properties. Our town grew without a proper plan and so we have to start acquiring property for the use of the municipality,” explained Guerrero. The first property that the council, along with the Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. will work to acquire is that of the late George Parham (Sands Hotel). “We are starting the process to try and acquire the property directly west of the Central Park. We think that it can be used for municipal parking and the building can be used for government offices,” explained Guerrero. That property is on sale for BZ$4 million, and according to Guerrero, they hope to convince the Government of Belize to assist them in acquiring it. “Nothing is final as yet, but we are lacking in town space. We are looking at a few other properties, and with the help of the steering committee in place, we hope to be able to approach donors to assist us in acquiring it,” said Guerrero.

ACES educates SPRCS students on crocodiles
On June 6, 2013, Chris Summers from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) visited the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) to educate the upper division students about the conservation of crocodiles and the importance they have in the community. In Belize, there are two different types of crocodiles, the American crocodile and the Morelet crocodile. American crocodiles are found across Ambergris Caye since they are considered salt water crocodiles. Morelet in the other hand are only adapted to survive in fresh water. The American Crocodile is considered a threatened species, with numbers quickly dwindling. In Belize, which was considered the last strong hold for the American crocodiles in the Americas, an estimated less than 1,000 crocodiles remain. The purpose of Summers’ visit was to educate the school children on the importance of protecting and conserving the species. With summer vacation drawing near, it is of upmost importance for students to know to stay away from locations that crocodiles use as their habitat. Children on vacation are usually more prone to mess with the crocodile habitat, hatchlings and eggs. By educating students and showing that such actions are wrong, Summers hopes that the students of the SPRC will set an example to others. Summers stated that one should not be afraid of these animals, because their normal instinct is to run away. However, if you feed them, eventually they will no longer fear humans, and that is where the trouble arises.

Soybean Seeds Test Positive as Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
On May 24th, 2013, the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests were conducted on May 28th and all the samples tested positive indicating that the seeds were genetically modified. A further set of samples were then sent to Eurofins Genescan laboratory in the United States on May 30th for a confirmatory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR technology. On June 5th, BAHA received results of the confirmatory test, which verified the results of previous tests conducted by BAHA on the soybean seeds.

Jennessa Sierra of SPRCS ties for 2nd in PSE countrywide
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results are out and one student from Ambergris Caye is amongst the highest in the country. The overall results were announced late on Friday June 7th by the Ministry of Education. Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) is among the top five students countrywide. A quick look at the results show that from the list of the top 26 performers, 13 were registered in the Belize District. Sierra received a total of 386 points out of a possible 400 points and tied with Nelson Esteban and Vicente Hulse of Saint Andrews Anglican School in the Cayo District, and they all placed second place nationally. “It feels great and I am amazed. I knew that if I put my all I would do good.

Fido’s Restaurant – Delicious Fast Gourmet
It is known as the place to go to for great live music, ambiance and refreshing drinks. It is the party palapa in town; but did you know that it also serves delicious food? Yes, Fido’s is also a place where you can find excellent grub – beyond bar fare, beyond quick wings and tacos (which they also serve, and are super scrumptious). At Fido’s, you get freshly prepared, quality seafood for lunch or dinner. As a treat, we were invited to taste some of the delicious dishes that come out of the kitchen, all prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Julie and manager Tony. It was early afternoon, and the sun had been shining beautifully all day, so as it headed west, it cast a warm glow on the beach, and from where we sat, we could definitely understand the draw to Fido’s. Not only do you get fed and watered properly, but the view is breathtakingly glorious as well. Sailboats meandered on the turquoise sea, moving along with the wind, which refreshed us as we sat and sipped some pineapple juice (we promise there was no alcohol, yet). My partner in crime for the evening was Josh Jones, our lucky, lucky intern whose hardest task was photographing delicious food, then helping me consume it. Interns have it hard. Heh.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council's Need For Land
After the mayor’s announcement, there was some opposition by a few members of the community, but a lot more people seem to support this move by the San Pedro Town Council. For one thing, the Mayor is doing so with a vision to improve living conditions of everybody. “I work for everybody, PUP and UDP,” commented Mayor Danny. Secondly it is to be noted that the Mayor has been working on his group’s election manifesto and more. He is trying to accomplish other projects that were not even in the manifesto. Town councils in every municipality do need properties, especially land, to be able to operate efficiently and effectively. It is worthy of mention that there is a difference in acquiring and purchasing. In an acquisition the property is taken by virtue of the town’s ordinance to be used only for town improvement, and not real estate. It is the court that establishes the price of the property. On the other hand a purchase is made on a price agreed upon by the buyer and the seller. This could run much higher than an acquisition deal. Therefore for all practical and sound financial purposes, an acquisition is preferred because the court sets the price and the council does have the authority to acquire any property for town improvement purposes. With real estate land prices going very rapidly, it is wise for the Town Council to hold on to some land in San Pedro; after all we still have need of some sports fields and courts, youth center, infirmary, home for senior citizens, home for orphans, rehab center, just to name a few. Certainly our good mayor is open to ideas, so contact him with your plans and suggestions instead of simply criticizing. Food for thought!

Tiger Prawn Joins Lion Fish as Invasive Animal in Belize
It was in 2008 when the Belize Fisheries Department confirmed the first sighting of the invasive Lionfish in Belizean waters. The increasing numbers of the lionfish threatening our ecosystem lead to numerous projects and tournaments to get rid of the invasive lionfish. Now there is another species that joins this creature in Belizean waters - the Tiger Prawn. Mr. Severo Guerreo Sr, (a local San Pedro fisherman) caught a black tiger prawn shrimp in Shark Ray's fore-reef. It's an invasive species found in the Gulf of Mexico. This black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) in particular weighed 8.6 ounces and had a length of 30 cm in size. According to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office, last month, Lyndon Rodney, Fishery Officer had shared an image of this same species at the Punta Gorda fish market. This proves that this species has made it further south into the Caribbean.

Misc Belizean Sources

New Direct LAX Air Service a Boon for Belize
The recent announcement of direct flights from Los Angeles to Belize has been hailed by Belizean resort owners as a boon for the local tourism industry. According to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing director Larry Waight, the new service, scheduled to begin December 2013, will encourage more west coast travellers to consider the Caribbean as a viable option to destinations like Mexico’s Pacific coast and Hawaii. The direct flights will also make it easier for members of Belize’s large diaspora, many of whom reside in California, to visit family and friends and spend holidays in their country of origin, he added. “It very good news for the entire Belize tourism industry, as it makes a Belize vacation more viable to a larger audience. And for Chaa Creek, it means that our popular Christmas and New Year’s all-inclusive Belize vacation packages are that much more attractive to west coast travellers,” Mr Waight said. Mr Waight said a June 5 2013 Los Angeles News Group blog, “LA Airspace” reported that Delta Airlines is set to begin direct flights from LAX to Belize City beginning December 2013.

Fashion Exchange - Belize Makes Pulse Plans, Strong CFW Expected
Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, is not at Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) this weekend just for enjoyment. Simplis-Barrow is hoping to learn lessons which she can use to improve the fashion industry in her country. Speaking to The Gleaner during Thursday evening's CFW opening reception at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, a very bubbly Simplis-Barrow said she is pleased to be in Jamaica for CFW. "It is an exciting time in our fashion and it is such a big thing in the Caribbean. I am excited to meet some of the designers and see how we in Belize can perhaps foster our fashion industry," she said. Simplis-Barrow said Belize Fashion Week was held earlier this year, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. "It is a growing industry and we are just really starting to look at fashion as an industry. We are a little slow when it comes to that in the Caribbean, but we are putting our finger on the button and me being here is a step in the right direction I think," she said. There is a collaboration with Jamaica in the offing, as Simplis-Barrow said "we will be partnering with Pulse. We just spoke with Kingsley Cooper and Romae Gordon in Belize and they had so much fun, so we are looking at partnering with Kingsley for our fashion show in Belize. We will be doing it probably in a year. One of the reasons we are here is to see what Kingsley is doing and to try to emulate what he is doing - and improve on it, of course".

Deep Sea Encouters at Gladden Spit 2013
In addition to Whale Sharks there much more marine life to see at Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Here's look at recent Whale Shark dive after the May moon.

Channel 7

PSE Results Announced, Grades Trending Down
Tonight, the PSE results are in, and, as always, we celebrate the top finishers, while lamenting an overall performance, which is down this year. But, first, to the good news: the students who excelled. The top finisher this year is Siyun Ye, from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning in Belize City. She topped her peers easily with a overall total of 391 points, six more than the second place finishers. And that’s right, we said, “finishers”; that’s because there’s a three way tie for second between Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban from St Andrews Anglican in Cayo along with Jenessa Sierra from San Pedro RC. There’s a four way tie for third with Agatha Petkau, from United Evergreen in Cayo, Iani Adolphus from Hummingbird Elementary in Belize city along with Sherry Tan and Alana Rosado from Belize Elementary in Belize City. Miracle Mgeahburke from Solid Rock Christian in Stann Creek is alone in fourth and Alexandra Gibson from Hummingbird elementary is tied with Marlina Eck from Belize Elementary and Gordon Knowles from St, Joseph in Belize City for fifth. The results came in just two hours ago – and we only got a chance to speak to two of the top finishers who are from the city, first place finisher Siyun Ye, and third place, Iani Adolphus. We spoke to Adolphus an hour ago and Siyun Ye just five minutes ago. We start with Adolphus. Iani Adolphus - Rank 3rd in PSE "I was relieved first of all and kind of surprised, but definitely proud." Monica Bodden "Who first informed you?" Iani Adolphus "My dad called my mom and she told me afterward."

GMO Soybean Found In Belize
Genetically modified soybeans have found in northern Belize. Tonight BAHA is reporting that they were found on May 24th – and tested positive locally four days later – which was confirmed by a US lab on June 5th. Now, sowing of GMO seeds is prohibited in Belize, and so BAHA has placed the seeds under quarantine, and will destroy them by milling. Those milled seeds will be used for the production of animal feed consistent with currently imported animal feeds which contains genetically modified soybeans. The BAHA release which came out after government closing hours does not say how many seeds were found or exactly where and what penalties if any the owner will be made to face.

Foreign Minister Not Hopeful For “Continental Consensus” On Drugs
As we showed you last night on the news, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington addressed the OAS General Assembly on the issue of the drug problem – saying that it is an issue of demand, not supply. His view was one of 35 coming from the Foreign Ministers or representatives who attended the meeting in Guatemala. All of them had strong opinions, and Elrington told us that he’s not confident that a continental consensus will be arrived at. Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minster of Foreign Affairs "Small countries like ours have seen us pass very terrible legislation which causes us to be sending so many of our young people to jail. Incarcerated because of the so call drug problem, you find them with a small stick of weed and you lock them up, once they are locked up for a small stick of weed and get convicted they can't get a job, visa and it is creating a lot of hardships. You lock up mothers who have young children when in truth and in fact, Belize is not responsible for the drug trade. The drug trade is impelled by the demand in the developed countries and our system in perpetually under stress and under pressure simply because the drugs pass through our countries - enroot to other countries. No matter what we do we will not be able to stance the trough because the demand is too great. We also have pressure of the demands of the developed countries to do more, they want us to do more and demonstrate that in my mind is a sufficient effort. I don't think we're going to get much out of it."

13 Year Old Alleges Gross Police Brutality
Tonight, a 13 year-old young man from Esperanza Village, continues to suffer from an injury to his left arm which his family and he claims was inflicted by a police officer from the Cayo District. The young man was at home with his family when police conducted a search on their house. We spoke to them this afternoon, and they told us that the police officer, who they can identify, used excessive force against the young man, caused him to suffer a compound fracture. Moreover, they claimed that he was no threat, and that he was around his family’s table doing his homework when the police barged in: Sharema Mendoza - Sister "I don't know what the problem is that they have against us as the Mendozza family but the police men came and my brother was doing an assignment in the house around the center table. My dad was inside eating and I was inside with some other girls watching some clothes. He went at the backdoor and when he went an officer approached him and said to my little brother 'stand right there - don't move' so my brother stood there and didn't move. There after about 6 to 7 seconds, as quick as that, I heard my brother crying - he then yelled at me and said 'Sharema I am going to die' so I told my dad who was sitting and eating to go and check on him."

A Lesson In Ejecting Squatters
Viewers may or may not know Olatunji Balogun. He is a Unitedville resident who has been fighting his case in the Supreme Court to settle the issue of squatters who refused to get off his land. He’s written extensively about his experience while fighting this case since the year 2000, and today, he finally got a positive development in a judgment delivered by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Because it is an issue that other Belizeans are forced to go through to keep their own land, he asked to share his story with the nation, hoping that it will inspire them not to suffer injustice in silence. Here’s how he explained it: Olatunji Balogun - Concerned Land Owner "Today there was a decision made in a trespassing case I took out. There were some people that were living illegally on my land and I took them to the supreme court and they made a decision today that they are trespassing on my land and they awarded me for $1000 and $5000 in cost. The significance of this is that I have been dealing with this situation almost around the year 2000 when I became aware that these people were on my land.

Belize’s Best Speller Is…
As we showed you at the top of the news, the PSE results are in, and we got a chance to speak to some of the top performers today. And today was also, the finals for the 2013 Coca Cola National Spelling Bee was held in Belmopan – where we got to see some of the top spellers. The first and second place winners from each district converged at the UB Gymnasium where they went up against each other for the finals. After 4 hours of spelling words most of us never heard before, a new winner was declared, when Eriean (pronounced Eri-an) Jang spelt the word "baldachin". Here's how she explained her performance: Eriean Jang - Winner 2013 National Spelling Bee Finals "It was fun, exciting and great but I was a little stressed out because I had to study a lot." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about qualifying and participating in the finals. How was the first spelling bee for you and having to qualify to get here." Eriean Jang "It was very easy but it was like I was climbing a step and some of the times while I was going up I had some troubles." Daniel Ortiz "How was it today? Give us an idea of some of the difficulties of the word you had to deal with."

Immigration Office Takes Questions From The Public
All across the country today, the different offices of the Immigration Department held open day's where they provided information most vital to the public, along with in an depth explanation of the passport application process. Since the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality changed the process, many members of the public have complained that it is now a great annoyance to get their passports. So 7News dropped by the Immigration Office in Belize City and asked about it. Here's what the officers told us: Camille Ottley - Immigration Clerk 1 "What's happening is that we're celebrating our 27th Anniversary. We've been a department from June 1986 so we're having an information day where we are just giving out snacks and souvenirs and information to anyone who comes in - countrywide." Daniel Ortiz "What sort of information do people from the public come looking for at the Immigration department?" Camille Ottley "Most people come in to find out more about the passport process since we changed it earlier this year."

Building Bandwidth In Belize?
Last night 7News showed you that forum which the Public Utilities Commission organized in collaboration with the international, Non-Profit organization Packet Clearing House. In this forum, the policy makers, along with the international experts, presented a new idea to the internet service providers in Belize to produce internet bandwidth in Belize, instead of purchasing it from abroad. As the facilitators explained it involves setting up a relatively inexpensive bandwidth source in the country called an internet exchange point. But before this forum, majority of Belizeans probably did not know that this was possible at all. So in that context, we asked the facilitators about their expectations, when it comes to the response from the ISP's in Belize. They explained why, on the face of it, the companies may not receive it well, given the telecommunications environment that exists in Belize. Daniel Ortiz "Tell us how you guys plan to convince the Internet Service Providers here in Belize to come on board with this. I think they might see it as a foreign idea."

Prom Economics
It's graduation time and thousands of students are learning a lesson that school never taught them. You can call it Prom Economics - how to find the hundreds of dollars to pay for the biggest party of your young life. It's a lesson many 4th Form students have been learning all too well in the past few weeks and Monica Bodden found two very different sides of the same story today. Here's her story. Monica Bodden reporting Today we found one prom queen who explained what it's like getting ready for the big night. Kadine Gongora - Graduate of Sadie Vernon High "First of all we were all there, about 20 of us and they selected that I was the Prom Queen because of my elegant dress that I had on. It was a lot of things - I had to call my sister from the US so she could have sent down the dress for me and we were here, there and everywhere - preparing hard for Prom because it's one in a life time." 19 year old Kadine Gongora is a recent graduate of Sadie Vernon High. Only two weeks ago, she got the chance to enjoy her fairytale ending after 4 years of hard work. But that ending came with a price tag for Kadine and her family. Kadine Gongora - Graduate of Sadie Vernon High "Yes it was very expensive, my dress cost $350usd and $180usd to ship it down so it was very expensive." Monica Bodden "And how much you guys had to pay to attend the prom?"

Reflections On Antigua
We've been reporting all this week from the 43rd General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala. The meeting finished last night at midnight with a press conference – and the final outcome is the passage of a number of resolutions and the Declaration of Antigua. And, Belize will have to remain focused on Antigua going into next week – that's because Belize's national football team, the Jaguars are playing an international friendly in that venerable city. Jules Vasquez was there most of this week – and here are his reflections on the city and the meeting it hosted. Jules Vasquez reporting From Belize City to Antigua, Guatemala, really it's just a straight southwesterly line spanning 250 miles. But only birds get to fly that route, for the earthbound, it's 400 miles and a 9-hour drive by road. We opted instead to go by air, first via Tropic Air from Belize to Flores, Peten, a 45 minute flight which took us across the broad expanse of the Lago Peten Itza,. In Flores at the Mundo Maya International Airport we hopped unto a Guatemalan carrier, TAG for another 45 minute flight which flew us via turboprop into Guatemala City where we landed at night in a city that looked to be lit by fireflies. From there we traveled by taxi the 23 miles to Antigua Guatemala. It's one of the oldest cities in Central America, the name Antigua itself is Spanish for 'ancient'. And indeed, every street looks like it's been lifted from some 16th Century European painting.

How to Make Produce Markets Work
Yesterday, leaders from villages, cities and towns across Belize gathered for a presentation at El Rancho Restaurant in Belmopan. It was hosted by the Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse, and he called them in to talk about the different produce markets which exist in these municipalities. Government wants to improve how the markets are controlled by the different city, town and village councils and after consultation with an international Expert, the findings were presented yesterday. Minister Hulse explained its importance: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minster of Local Government "This is the launch of a workshop under the BRDP II so there's a consultant in the country whose function was to help to improve the management of the various market in the municipalities and these are all the market by the Belize City one and Stann Creek is coming on as well at sometime. So he's been here from March and he's visited then and he did a preliminary study and today he's going to present his findings to the group, this is why you see all the Mayors invited etc

Tommy Lee: Follow Me
If you follow Jamaican dancehall music, Tommy Lee is a big name, and tonight he's in Belize for a concert in Orange Walk Town. It is his first time in Belize and when he pulled up at 7news this evening – his street side fans showed him nothing but love. Tommy Lee - Reggae Artist "I'm touring and knowing the place you know, trying to know about the place and the history. Feeling the energy as well." Monnica Bodden "What can people expect from your performance this weekend?" Tommy Lee "Well you know - real badness, niceness. Best of Tommy Lee." Monnica Bodden "Where will you be performing?" Tommy Lee "I'm not really sure about the name of the place. Stadium in Sugar City - real badness. I will sing some tune that they have never heard. I will perform and let people fully enjoy themselves and their monies worth." The concert is tomorrow night at the People's Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Tickets can be purchased at Stone's Music in Belize City and Leonardo's Music or M&A's shoes store in Orange Walk.

Channel 5

P.S.E. results out: scores for Math and English decline
Late this evening, the results of the Primary School Examinations were released by the Ministry of Education.  A total of seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students sat the exams [...]

Where will Norwegian Cruise Line place $100 million development
With Crawl Caye off the table as a cruise ship destination, Norwegian Cruise Lines is looking for other areas in southern Belize for a cruise ship tourism project. On Tuesday, [...]

Guatemala’s airport has map annexed to Belize
In the past, Guatemala has showcased maps at international forums that annex Belize to that country. There was a concern that Guatemala would carry out similar measures at the forty-third [...]

Churches meet the P.M. to denounce gender policy
Church leaders of the Belmopan area met this morning with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office. There were seven representatives from the churches and the PM’s team included [...]

Pastor says church protects Constitution of God
While the Council of Churches is yet to meet with P.M. Barrow to express its views on the inclusion of the term sexual orientation in the Revised Gender Policy, the [...]

Baldachin spells winner for Eriean Jang at the Spelling Bee
Baldachin is the winning word in this year’s spelling bee. The spelling of that most difficult word and rarely used word propelled a student from Dangriga as this year’s top [...]

Genetically modified soybeans found in the north
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has been a debatable topic during the past two years. Some farmers want to use the laboratory synthesized versions of plants because of the higher yield [...]

O.A.S. roadmap to renewal of regional drug policy
This week, a News Five team has been covering the forty-third General Assembly of the Organization of American States that was held in Antigua, Guatemala. The annual event concluded with [...]

Gas attendant pumps way to burglary charge
Nineteen year old Calbert Roberts Junior appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, where he was indicted on a charge of burglary.  The young gas attendant is accused of [...]

He slaps ex with hand and he gets slapped with charges
Thirty-one year old Kenroy Vanzie, accused of fondling the breasts and private parts of an eighteen year old woman, pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned in the Belize City [...]

Jaguars; road to Gold Cup
The Road to the Gold Cup: The Belize Jaguars are preparing to take on the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica in three games to be played in three cities [...]

Expert on municipal markets meets mayors
The Church may be a hallmark of communities but no municipality can survive without a market. That is why the mayors from across the country were attending an important meeting [...]

Dancehall Artist, Tommy Lee, in Belize for Orange Walk Concert
From markets to the concerts, dancehall recording artist Tommy Lee is in Belize for a one-night-only performance this weekend.  The controversial singer, whose alias and subject matter has stirred much [...]


Construction of Private Wharf Raises Concerns In Southern Belize
Concerns are being raised over public and private space in Punta Gorda; Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Growing concerns have been expressed about a newly constructed wharf spanning off coastline at the Northern entrance to Punta Gorda. The newly ...

Political Affiliation Will Not Deter Charges For Destruction of Maya Site
The destruction of Noh Mul an over 2,300 years old Maya Site in Northern Belize caused a local and international media frenzy back in May. The Maya temple had been turned into rubble by D’mar’s Stone Company, owned by Denny Grijalva, whose company used the extracted stone for road fil...

Football Tournament For Youths Scheduled For The Weekend
The Belmopan City Council’s Kids and Youth Football Tournament Competition will conclude this weekend. Correspondent Kenrick Francisco has the sporting details. KENRICK FRANCISCO “Sporting events continue to be an outlet for kids and others to constructively ...

TUBAL Vocational Institute Holds Open Day
Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute opened its door back in 2001 and since then the school has been training youths from Belize City and surrounding communities to master different sorts of trades in order for them to become a productive citizen in their community. Currently fifty students are e...

Winner Declared For Coca Cola Spelling Bee 2013
The nineteenth National Coca Cola Spelling bee came to an end a short while ago. The new champion primary school speller is Eriean Jang from Sacred Heart RC School. Second place went to Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC School in the Corozal District. Love FM’s Karen Coote h...

Southern Municipality Holds Public Meeting
The Punta Gorda Town Council held a public meeting on Thursday. We join correspondent Paul Mahung for the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The Punta Gorda Town council held an open meeting last night for members of the public. The open meeting was chaired by Mayor Anthony Fuent...


Case File on Destruction of Maya Temple In Belize Forwarded to DPP
The destruction of Noh Mul an over 2,300 years old Maya Site in Northern Belize caused a local and international media frenzy back in May. The Maya temple had been turned into rubble by D’mar’s Stone Company, owned by Denny Grijalva, whose company used the extracted stone for road fill. Since the incident had been plastered on the media, the National Institute of Cultural and History launched an investigation into the matter which was complete last week. According to the Director of Archeology at NICH, the results of the investigations were handed over to the Orange Walk Police Station. Love News understands that the Director of Public Prosecution has received the file and is reviewing it. Awe says that charges are expected to be filed by early next week. JAIME AWE “Early this week we had the Assistant Superintendent of Police from Orange Walk come into archaeology, we finished signing up all the documents, the affidavits, the evidence that will support the case. They also prepared the final police reports which are to be submitted to the DPP office. Now, it is just a matter of any day now that the DPP office will instruct the police to lay the charges. I can see that this will be done very shortly as early as next week. There is no question as to the illegality of the destruction. We have been able to firmly establish that through visual and written evidence.” HIPOLITO NOVELO (Reporter) “This matter has been politically spun by different sectors of the community and many people might think that Mr. Grijalva might not be held responsible because of his political post in the United Democratic Party.”

Capital City Hosts Football Tournament For Youths
The Belmopan City Council’s Kids and Youth Football Tournament Competition will conclude this weekend. Correspondent Kenrick Francisco has the sporting details. KENRICK FRANCISCO “Sporting events continue to be an outlet for kids and others to constructively channel their energy while nurturing skills and fostering social interactions among residents. The kids and youth cup football competition sponsored by the Belmopan City Council which provided such an outlet concludes this weekend with two days of competition at the Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan. On Saturday, June 8 at 2pm, the all-star team of Belmopan will compete against two visiting teams from sugar-city, Orange Walk; then on Sunday at 1pm, two championship games will be held. For the kids’ championship, Barcelona will face off against Real Madrid and for the youth championship, Valencia will clash with Barcelona. Love News spoke with Amilcar Umana whose portfolio includes sports.” AMILCAR UMANA “We have two levels of tournaments for the first year of the cup; one is called the kids’ cup which will be for ages 9 – 12 and to give them continuity, we have included the youth cup for ages 13 -16. We will be distributing medals on trophies on Sunday following the games for most goals, most valuable player, among others. This year we were unable to get any business support therefore the Belmopan City Council is providing the finances for this year’s event.”

Youths Demonstrate Acquired Vocational Skills During Open Day
Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute opened its door back in 2001 and since then the school has been training youths from Belize City and surrounding communities to master different sorts of trades in order for them to become a productive citizen in their community. Currently fifty students are enrolled in the different courses at the school and yesterday their skills were put on display for their 12th annual open day. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTS: Located on the Philip Goldson Highway, Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute has been in existence for twelve years. The institute provides learning courses on several trades to youth who are willing invest in order to be successful. On Thursday, the trade and vocational institute held its annual open day to showcase the skills and talents that the students have developed during their individual courses as explained by Jevon McKoy, the building construction instructor for Tubal. JEVON McKoy “We have 4 basic trades and everyone is displaying their respective discipline from mechanic coming down to construction which is mine; we have the electrical and we have the computer lab and the Catering and Hospitality are doing their display upstairs. To be quite honest everyone here has something specific that they would like to display. From the mechanic they are displaying the vehicle parts that they are working on, we have some photos and so forth that we have been displaying on what we have done. If you take a walk in the class we have some houses we have set up, we have some walls that we have been working on just to display what we have been doing. If you notice in the class we have this electrical crowd that set up a house that is all lighted up and upstairs we have some amazing displays when it comes to the food.”

Dangriga Primary School Student Captures 1st Place in National Spelling Bee
The nineteenth National Coca Cola Spelling bee came to an end a short while ago. The new champion primary school speller is Eriean Jang from Sacred Heart RC School. Second place went to Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC School in the Corozal District. Love FM’s Karen Coote has the details of today’s competition. KAREN COOTE “The Coca Cola National Spelling Bee 2013 concluded with a grand finale at the UB Gymnasium in the nation’s capital, Belmopan. Twelve champion spellers, two representing each of the six districts took the stage for the grand finale hoping to be crowned the national champion. From the Belize District, Misty Sanchez from Holy Redeemer Primary, Daniel Mohammed-Ali from Burrell Boom Methodist; the Cayo District was represented by Michael Thompson – Belize Christian Academy and Heidi Morcia from Los Tambos Government; the Corozal district was represented by Britney Rosales from Caledonia RC and Enrique Castillo, St. Paul’s Anglican; Margaret Diego from San Estevan RC and Isidro Chan from San Pablo Community represented the Orange Walk District; Eriean Jang of Sacred Heart RC and Sara Ramirez from Valley Baptist were representative from the Stann Creek District and Toledo District was represented by Laurie Williams from Mafredi Methodist and Hilda Saki from St. Benedict RC School. During the opening ceremony of this year’s event the invocation was delivered by Fem Cruz; opening remarks were delivered by District Education Manager, Luis Carballo; President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen, Michael H.M Bowen welcomed everyone to the grand finale. The champion spellers were escorted on stage by members of Belize’s National Football Jaguars Team. Formalities completed, it was time to spell again.

#466191 - 06/08/13 07:40 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 8, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More meetings on Gender Policy for the Prime Minister
Seven Pastors from the Belmopan Area Coalition of Churches met this morning with the Prime Minister and three of his cabinet Ministers regarding the Revised Gender Policy 2013. The meeting started at 9:30 this morning and it wasn’t until three hours after that the group of seven made their...

Soy bean in the north of the country test positive for GMO
On May 24th, 2013, the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests...

Alleged murderers of Steven Valencia remanded to prison
Earlier this week, Police apprehended 26 year old Jarod Lamb who had been on the run for over a month. Lamb, also known as Steel Bob, was caught hiding in Teakettle Village. Lamb, along with Marvin Neal, are suspects in an aggravated burglary, where...

Stann Creek District student wins National Spelling Bee
Aldamunich – A-l-a-m-u-n-i-c-h, that’s the word that clinched Sacred Heart R.C. student Eriean Jang as the 2013 National Spelling Bee Champ. Jang competed against eleven of her peers of the Standard 4,5&6 divisions, from schools across the country. This year the competition saw its 19th year under the patronage...

EU assists with Market Development Programme
The Department of Local Government and Rural Development, under the Belize Rural Development Project has undertaken a venture to provide a more pleasant and hygienic environment for market vendors. The project reviewed existing markets infrastructure within Belize, with a longer term Market Development Programme planned, which will involve substantial ...

Former Nurses’ Aide seeks to be treated fairly
Her granddaughter died in desperate circumstances in 2006 and she feels she was victimized by its administration. Former Nurses’ Aide Shawn Lemoth attended Thursday’s demonstration organized by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) as well as the press conferences and is not satisfied with the hospital’s explanation of...

2013 PSE results are in
The 2013 PSE results are in. According to the Ministry of Education, a total of 7533 candidates registered for this year’s PSE, of which 7359 candidates actually sat all or part of the exam this year. PSE numbers for 2013 record a 5.2% increase in the number of test...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Make panades out of Lionfish, not sharks!
An astuste beauty queen recently posted on her facebook timeline: ”Make panades out of lion fish, not sharks!” We couldn’t agree more! The time has come in the development of our little island where sharks are worth more as tourist attractions than panades! Conversely, we have too many invasive non-native lion fish in our waters, and the population needs to be thinned. So, folks, let’s make the panades industry a win-win situation for the island.

Belize International Film Festival Schedule
The schedule for the 8th Belize International Film Festival has been published. We take great pride is publishing it below, not only because we wholeheartedly support the film festival, but especially because for the first time ever, Caye Caulker has submitted an entry. The film director is no other than local Hicaquena, Tina Auxillou. We urge all Hicaquenas to come out and support the film on the Sunday, June 14th at 3:00 p.m. All films will be screened at the Princess Cinema in Belize City. Tickets cost USD $5/ BZD $10.


Robert Bandfield, owner and sole director of IPC, told the court that Middleton stole $17,455 BZ Carmita Middleton, 38, was acquitted of five counts of theft today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr. after it was determined that the Crown had not presented enough evidence to prove the points of its case. Middleton had been accused of stealing a total of $17,455 BZ from her employer, Robert Bandfield, while she worked as a receptionist. The alleged incidents of theft are said to have occurred on five different occasions between July 16, 2008 and December 31, 2008 when she appropriated monies from five different companies that had been incorporated by IPC. However, it was not until January 2009 that Bandfield was alerted that something was awry in his company. In the trial, Bandfield testified that his company, IPC, incorporates international companies and manages them. He also explained that he acts as director of these companies, and as director, he decides which stocks to invest in and also which charitable donations or gifts are given away and to whom. The director of the companies is ultimately the one who dictates where money can or cannot go.

His father said that he will travel to Haiti to “seek his justice.” The decomposed corpse of former policeman Maurice Duce, 24, of Police Street, was retrieved from the Belize River in the area of Haulover Bridge at about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and a part of his left arm was missing — believed to have been bitten off by crocodiles. After the body was taken out of the river, it was taken to a deserted area on the Hattieville-Boom Road, where Doctor Mario Estradabran conducted an onsite autopsy. At its conclusion, Estradabran certified that Duce’s death was caused by drowning. Duce, originally from Haiti, was taken to the Eternal Gardens Cemetery at Mile 13 on the Philip Goldson Highway, where he was buried at about 3:30 p.m. that same day, Tuesday. A man told police that about 8:30 Tuesday morning, he was travelling in his boat on the Belize River in the area of Manatee Lookout when he saw a body floating. Police were called and a search team from the Ladyville police responded and searched for the body in the area near Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway.

3 of 4 suspects charged with murder were supposed to graduate from Belmopan Comprehensive High tonight, Wednesday. Rasheed Crespo, 19; Manuel Hernandez, 18; Rudy Santos, 18; and Edwin Paula, 29, have been charged with murder, attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm, and two counts of robbery today, Wednesday, in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from the men and they have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until August 22, 2013. All four men are believed to have been involved in a series of crimes that occurred in the Belmopan area, including a robbery and murder incident that occurred at La Choza Bar in Las Flores, a village in the vicinity of Belmopan, on June 2, 2013, in which the owner of the bar was robbed of a cell phone, cash, and a car, and two others —Isabel Ballona, 43, and Manuel Aguino, 50, were shot. While Aguino survived the attack, Ballona died as a result of the injuries he suffered. Ballona had been shot in the head. The other incident for which the four men are believed to be responsible occurred on May 8, 2013, when the accused and two other persons robbed nine students at gunpoint at the University of Belize, Belmopan campus dorms, and escaped with an assortment of valuable items.

“Our ships will be going somewhere else, unless we can figure out a way to make the experience better.” – Colin Murphy, Norwegian’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development Minister Hulse says, “…before you chase away a potential investor who intends to put down the upper part of 100 million dollars and just say ‘shush’ …you work with him within the parameters that may be possible.” Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse confirmed to us on Tuesday, following a meeting of Cabinet, that Government had decided to reject a proposal from Norwegian Cruise Lines for a $100 million cruise port development at Crawl Caye, because the scale of the project is too large for the location, which is part of a UN World Heritage Site. Whereas the Crawl Caye proposal, Hulse said, is “off the table,” Government would still continue talks with the cruise line, to see if another location in Belize can work. In explaining Cabinet’s decision to take Crawl Caye “off the table,” as the minister puts it, he told us that, “The environmental people, the technical people have concluded that that particular development would unduly disturb the ecology and the environment there, and therefore they do not recommend that location. So the promoters understand that: Crawl Caye is off the table.”

They twisted the child’s arm so violently that he suffered a compound fracture. Police are accused of roughing up a 13-year-old Esperanza boy until his left arm suffered a compound fracture. The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday in the Mendoza family yard in Esperanza, during what police said was a search for drugs in the house. Police said that they did find drugs, however, and the youth and his father, 72, were arrested, charged and then granted police bail. The boy was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where his arm was put in a cast. The family is upset about the way the boy was handled and wants the police to pay for the boy’s medical treatment. They have since made an official complaint to the police’s Internal Affairs office in Belmopan, and to the Ombudsman. Sharema Mendoza told Amandala that about 2: 30 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, the family was at home; she and her mother were washing clothes in the yard; her brother, 13, was doing homework, and her father was eating at the table. Some friends were also in the yard.

Roberts gave the money to his common-law wife after buying “baby things.” On Thursday, May 30, 2013, Calbert Roberts, Jr., 19, a resident of #16 Mangal Street in Orange Walk, was arraigned on burglary and damage to property charges, to which he pled guilty. According to the facts of the case, Racquel Borland, the owner of Biscayne General Shop, reported that between 6:00 p.m. on May 26, 2013 and 12:00 noon May 27, 2013, someone broke into her store and stole $4,100 from the store’s drop box. Police launched an investigation and apprehended Roberts, Jr., who then admitted to breaking into the store, where he had been employed as a gas attendant. After pleading guilty to the charges, Roberts had told the court that he wasn’t thinking properly and that his “ego” was overwhelmed. He further told the court that he had made a genuine mistake, and begged the court to please excuse his common-law wife, because she didn’t know where he had gotten the money.

Mayor’s Cup Committtee says Thanks! The executive committee of the Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup 2013 would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to all those who supported this year’s tournament to be a great success. Our Platinum Sponsor – Traveller’s Rum, Mayor H. Gilbert Swaso and the Dangriga Town Council, Hon. Ivan Ramos, Football Federation of Belize, Stann Creek Sports Council, Stann Creek Football Association, the Police Department, Uncle Harry Paint, Mr. Nolbert Moss – Competition Committee Secretary, Hamaalali Radio Station, Dangriga Cable Vision, Rapidito Loans, Mr. Orin Orio, Mr. David “Davo” Rodriguez, Mr. Santiago Acosta, team managers & players, and, of course, the fans who came out to support their teams and the tournament. Next year, the Mayor’s Cup will be bigger and better! Boys & Girls U-15 football

The Football Federation of Belize regrets to inform the general public and football supporters of the sad reality of our football. The Premier League of Belize Champion for this year, the Belmopan Bandits Football Club, will not be able to participate in the CONCACAF Champions League 2013-2014, since it has been determined by CONCACAF stadium inspectors that, while improvements have been made to some of the stadium’s infrastructure, the stadium still does not meet the minimum standard requirements for CONCACAF Champions League. One of the areas of most importance is the lighting. The minimum requirement is 800 lux throughout the field of play, since all of the Champions League matches are broadcasted in High Definition. At the moment, the lighting fluctuates from 300-1100 lux in some areas of the pitch. Other requirements for participation in CONCACAF Champions League are as follows: Improvements of the field of play; that is that we need to grow more grass on the field. Air conditioned locker rooms for referee and players. A minimum of 12 shower stalls and toilet facilities in each locker room for players.

The Corozal District Primary School Volleyball Competition for males (M) and females (F) continues with games at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Here are the results for games played from last Wednesday, May 29, to yesterday, Wednesday, June 5. On Wednesday, May 29, (M) Guadalupe RC won over Corozal Methodist, 25-23, 25-14; (F) San Victor RC defeated Libertad Methodist in 3 sets, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10; (M) Libertad Methodist dropped San Victor RC, 25-4, 25-15; and (F) Corozal Methodist won over Guadalupe RC in 3 sets, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13. On Friday, May 31, it was (M) Copper Bank RC over St. Francis Xavier, 25-14, 25-11; (M) Corozal Methodist over Church of Christ, 25-16, 25-10; (F) Corozal Methodist over Church of Christ, 25-8, 25-16; and (M) Guadalupe RC over Assemblies of God, 25-8, 25-16. Three more games were played on Monday, June 3: (M) Corozal Methodist won over Libertad Methodist, 25-11, 25-16; (F) Corozal Methodist dropped Libertad Methodist, 25-20, 25-17; and (M) St. Francis Xavier defeated Assemblies of God, 25-23, 26-24. The tournament continued yesterday, Wednesday, June 5, with 5 games: (M) Copper Bank RC clipped San Victor RC, 25-10, 25-11; (F) Church of Christ dropped Libertad Methodist in 3 sets, 16-25, 25-7, 15-10; (M) Libertad Methodist won over Church of Christ, 25-17, 25-19; (M) Guadalupe RC stopped St. Francis Xavier RC, 25-7, 25-10; and (M) Corozal Methodist defeated Assemblies of God, 25-16, 25-11.

In the 1960s the political headquarters of diaspora Belizeans was in New York City, where there was an organization called the British Honduras Freedom Committee. At that time, most of the majority black population which constituted the Belizean diaspora, was concentrated in New York City and, to a lesser extent, Chicago. Today, Los Angeles is probably the political headquarters of diaspora Belizeans, but in the 1960s, L.A. was a distant third to New York and Chicago. Lighter-skinned Belizeans were based in New Orleans, and its surrounding parishes, but New Orleans Belizeans did not, as a group, have a profile in Belizean politics the way the Freedom Committee did. Leroy Taegar once told me that the Freedom Committee, at its peak, controlled a list of 8,000 diaspora Belizeans who contributed US$10 a month to the Freedom Committee. This amounted to US$80,000 a month, and it was big money in the 1960s, especially after you changed it into Belize dollars. When I arrived in Brooklyn in August of 1965 on my way to college in New Hampshire, Compton Fairweather was THE BOY amongst New York’s Belizeans. Through a radio telephone arrangement on Rutland Road, where his father, the Rev. Gerald Fairweather, lived, Compton provided diaspora Belizeans with their only news of Belize. In those days, telephone service in Belize itself was primitive, and, of course, there was no Internet.

I am so sad. I am sad because Maurice Duce died the way he did. He is the ex-policeman whose body was found in the river near the Haulover Bridge. Along with my sadness however, I am comforted that he is at rest. God did not allow him to suffer long. At the time of his death, as far as I know, he was going through a hard time. The last time I saw him he was walking the streets, unkempt and penniless. When I listened to the news I was surprised that no mention was made that he had a mental illness. This probably had something to do with his death. I believe he was not taking his medication and was completely spaced out and was not in control of his actions. I think I would not be speaking unfairly if I would say that it is unfortunate that the mental health system failed him. I will not go on to say who else in Duce’s short life failed him. I know he wanted to be helped, and he sought help. I got to know him when he began visiting my home with a young female friend of the family. He was quiet and mannerly and I was told that he had graduated from ACC in the top group of the class. I did not know much about his personal life, but I did learn that his mother died when he was a child, and he was raised by an older sister. In December of last year when he visited my home I saw that he was experiencing some mental problems. He came to me and told me he was hearing voices and he could not “stand it.” I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the Port Loyola mental health clinic. He readily agreed.

These letters together stand for an alliance of men and women who are unsatisfied with the role that nature has assigned to them. Because of this dissatisfaction, they have chosen roles which are contrary to their very nature. Their natural roles are for them to be either male or female according to the sex they were born with. It is true that a male can have the appendage of his genitals removed and an orifice put in its place, through the wonders of medical science. So. According to statute law he/she is recognized as a member of the female sex and, of that gender as well. The state is making an accommodation which it deems necessary and society accepts it as reasonable. But, in reality the intended sex change operation did not succeed. What it has done is make the man incapable of performing the role of a male without being able to perform the role of a female. To achieve this objective medical science will have to implant a womb and install an ovulatory system. Without it, he is still a man, without genitals. The same difficulties would arise if there were women who wished to perform the role of men but, the fair sex is in a much better position to simulate the role, which I will now discuss.

“…there is no way on earth that Government will withdraw that policy.” “…maybe 10, 15, 20 years from now it may become the norm that when you get an invitation it will no longer be Mister and Misses Hulse but it will be Mister Hulse and guest or Mister Hulse and friend… cause you don’t know who is going to show up,” says Minister Hulse Prime Minister Dean Barrow is due to meet Friday with some representatives of Belize’s faith community to discuss the Revised 2013 Gender Policy, which some contend includes a dramatic shift in policy to treat LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) persons as a special disadvantaged group through anti-discrimination policies which could eventually become law here in Belize. Whereas Barrow is prepared to meet, he told the media Wednesday that, “…there is no way on earth that Government will withdraw that policy.” Barrow described the Revised 2013 Gender Policy as “a good policy” – and his Cabinet approved it via consensus in March. “I’m prepared to accommodate submissions on particular aspects of the policy,” Barrow said, adding that “…if it can be shown where certain things are subject to misinterpretation” he is prepared—at the most—to clarify the language.

The second Inspiration Telethon was another success as the $500,000 fundraising target was met and surpassed. $514,132.85 in pledges and donations was reported at the end of the event on Saturday. Similar to last year, persons were able to donate by credit card, text, cheques, wire transfers, cash at various booths, buying promo items and by billing to their BTL and Smart post-paid accounts. The donations poured in from all across the country, and number of presentations were made at the Bliss during the live broadcast of the 10-hour event. The largest donations came courtesy of the Belize Social Security Board, which presented the second installment of $50,000 from its pledge of $150,000 to be paid over three years; Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association each presented $50,000. Just minutes before the 6 o’clock totals were presented, a true angel to Belize’s children with special arrived. In an act of extreme generosity, Mr. Jack Chawla presented a blank cheque to be made out for whatever was needed to meet the target. His donation was $92,015.97! In addition to the corporate donors, there were many touching moments as children, several of whom have disabilities, brought their piggy banks filled with their life savings to contribute to the cause.

Support the petition to stop tarpon spearing in the Gulf Of Mexico
Dear Editor, Tarpon are a migratory fish. They migrate from extreme ranges as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada to as far south as Argentina. From our observations over the years, tarpons begin migrating north in ...

Lisa Carne writes PM
Lisa Carne MSc student: Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development: UB/UWI Placencia/Seine Bight 3 June 2013 Hon. Dean O. Barrow Prime Minister Government of Belize Dear Hon. Barrow, I am writing to you to give my opposition, ...

How? Why?
Dear Editor, I first came to Placencia in 1992, 21 years ago. Though I was enchanted with the village from the beginning, it’s the friends I’ve made there and then their extended families that I love ...

Pallotti High School mistreating students
Dear Editor, Pallotti High School is mistreating its students. Students are being given detention for being late, even if it is only by one minute. The school has not given consideration in excusing its students for ...

“During the 1960’s, the most feared group was the United Black Association for Development, better known as UBAD, under the leadership of Evan X Hyde. The Belize government decided that the only way to get rid of this group was to form the Belize Special Force … They were indicted on several charges brought before the courts and after a period of years were forced to become a political party …” - pg. 16, Wellington C. Ramos in THE GUARDIAN of Sunday, September 5, 2010 The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) is being held in Antigua, Guatemala this week, and Kremandala is one of the three Belizean media houses which are being represented in Antigua. The other two media houses are Channel 7 and Channel 5, and these are owned by a Belizean multimillionaire and a British billionaire, respectively. In Antigua, Kremandala is being represented by Marisol Amaya, who is the news editor at KREM Radio and also does translations for this newspaper. Marisol is not as famous as Adele Ramos, but she is just as precious. It takes special people to work at Kremandala, especially when these individuals, like Adele and Marisol, are multi-talented and could work at just about any media house in the nation. The Kremandala offices are located in an area of town which can get rough and exciting at times, so this place is not for the faint of heart.

The Organization of American States (OAS), the world’s longest-standing hemispheric organization, opened for signing today, two legally-binding instruments: the Inter-American Convention on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance; and the Inter American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance—the latter of which reflects the hotly debated shift from including merely one’s “sex” to including one’s “sexual orientation” under provisions guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms. Back in 2004, when United Nations countries debated the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, there was a proposal by Canada to include “sexual orientation” in the preamble; however, the proposal was rejected after debate and the original language was retained in that convention. Since then, though, the language of texts addressing fundamental human rights have changed—in the same way that the language in Belize’s gender policy—a document funded by the UN—has changed to now include sexual orientation of persons and anti-discriminatory provisions.

The Reporter

Belizean attitude towards gays and lesbians has to take a practical common-sense approach. Gays and lesbians are real. They exist. They are as real as handicapped people. And because they exist we cannot ignore them. We recognize that they have to eat and sleep and work– just like the rest [...]

Guat shot inside Chiquibul
A shooting incident two miles inside the Belize border with Guatemala in the Chiquibul Nature Reserve while Belizean and Guatemalan representatives are meeting in Antigua, Guatemala has made the territorial dispute between the two countries all the more sensitive.

Former policeman found dead in river
Maurice Duce, 24, a former Policeman who resigned from the Police Department around a year ago was discovered dead and floating in the Belize River on Tuesday. His body was retrieved near the Haulover Bridge shortly after midday after it was first spotted in the morning around the Manatee Lookout [...]

Marin stays! P.M. says KHMH not Health Minister’s responsibility.
Minister of Health Pablo Marin cannot be held accountable for last month’s neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Thursday.

PM says he will not withdraw revised Gender Policy; meets with BNTU leadership
A meeting took place today at the headquarters of the Belize National Teachers’ Union between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Council of Management of the BNTU over the revised National Gender Policy.

GOB scuttles Crawl Caye Cruise port plan! But says other proposals are welcome.
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ US$50 million proposal to establish a major cruise port on Crawl Caye some eight and a half miles off the Placencia peninsula has been turned down by Cabinet, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow told reporters at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday morning, June 5.

Belize abstains from OAS Gender Policy
The Solicitor General of Belize has advised that Belize should abstain from voting on a Convention tabled at the Organization of American States’ General Assembly currently under way in Antigua, Guatemala, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington informed the Belizean media on Thursday, June 6.

Oceana expert witness struck out
The Supreme Court has refused Oceana’s application to have expert witness Susan Harvey testify in the government’s application for a stay of execution on injunctions ordered by Justice Oswell Legal.

British diplomat fired from Belize gets £320,000 compensation
The former British High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, was awarded £320,000 in damages by a British High Court, after it found that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had wrongfully fired him from his Belize post. The court made the award this week, after it ruled last month that [...]

Three parents of dead infants wait for answers from KHMH
Thirteen newborns died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit last month, and three parents of those infabtssay they are still waiting for answers.

COLA blasts KHMH and Minister of Health over death of infants
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) says it is not satisfied with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s response to the 13 neonatal deaths that occurred in the hospital’s newborn Intensive Care Unit last month.

Inspiration Telethon exceeds $500,000 quota
The second Inspiration Telethon hosted by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, and Care Belize has exceeded its half million-dollar target. The telethon, which was held last Saturday at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts, totalled $514,132.85 in pledges and donations in just ten hours. The largest donations came [...]

Ten ways to burn fat faster
Read on for some medically proven moves that’ll make it happen – and help you drop some pounds. Stock up on green tea Green tea isn’t known only for its cancer-fighting benefits: It may help boost your metabolism too. People who took green-tea extract three times a day saw their [...]

Undefeated Tuff e’Nuff leads Interoffice Basketball
Tuff e’Nuff leads the 2013 Interoffice Basketball Competition posting sixth and seventh wins at Bird’s Isle last Thursday and Saturday to complete the regular season undefeated and enter the playoffs as the top-ranked seed.

Berlan & Sunrise lead in Harrison Parks Cricket Playoffs
Berlan of Bermudian Landing upset defending champions, Excellence 182-181 in Double Head Cabbage at the first semifinal match of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition in Double Head Cabbage, while Sunrise of Lords Bank eliminated the defending sub-champions, Western Eagles, 229-84 in Rancho Dolores on Saturday, June 1.

El Salvador abortion woman has C-section
A seriously ill woman who was denied an abortion by the Supreme Court in El Salvador has undergone a premature Caesarean section. The 22-year-old woman, who has lupus and kidney problems, sought to end the pregnancy, which doctors said posed a serious risk to her life.

Egypt sentences American NGO workers to jail has has
An Egyptian court has sentenced several dozen workers of a non-governmental organizations, including Americans, to jail Tuesday in a case that has infuriated the U.S. government and democratic activists around the world.

Egypt sentences American NGO workers to jail has has
An Egyptian court has sentenced several dozen workers of a non-governmental organizations, including Americans, to jail Tuesday in a case that has infuriated the U.S. government and democratic activists around the world.

Deputy PM’s nephew gets $8M public contracts
Controversial civil works contractor Imer Hernandez has won two public contracts, a $6 million contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip, and a $2 million contract to renovate the Belmopan market. The European Union is funding the 12-month market project, which the Ministry of Works is supervising. The Evaluation Committee accepted Hernandez’s bid and his company is already in its second month of work on the project. Hernandez’s company also won a $6 million contract for the expansion works at the Belize Municipal Airstrip, which went through a competitive bidding process with the submitted tenders opened last December.

The Belize Times

UDP crony steals $50,000 from KHMH
There is another major scandal at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This one involves the mishandling and fleecing of the hospital’s money by a UDP crony hired by key UDP players now managing the hospital. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt from reliable sources that $50,000 was stolen from the KHMH. A UDP crony from the Corozal District, hired with the consent of his northern political boss, is responsible for the disappearance of overtime money belonging to the hardworking employees of the hospital. This overtime payment belonged to the pharmacists, the wardens and security officers. The money was stolen when the UDP crony diverted it from the hospital’s account to a separate private account at a local bank.

PUP 7’s historic win in Arenal Village!
There was a significant victory in Arenal Village in the Cayo West constituency this last Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, when the voters, after almost 35 years of having a UDP chairman and Village Council ...

Million dollar contracts for Gaspar Vega’s nephew, Imer Hernandez – $179,000 for San Antonio Road, MILLIONS more from UDP Government
The major controversy over the payment of $179,000 to Imer Hernandez, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, for road works that were never done in Orange Walk Town is only the tip of ...

“Pablo Marin Must Go!” – Protesters call for resignations of Health Minister/KHMH authorities
A loud call for the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and for the top administrators of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to resign was made by a group of protesters who held up placards outside of ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
NO Clue… In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
Belizeans shafted again… Our tourism gurus in authority would have us believe that there has been this dramatic facelift in the Belize Tourism Board; a new vision; a new agenda of development; new purpose and new life. It seemed like a ...

KHMH Madness
The mess at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is really a microcosm of the entire health system currently. This system has been in distress ever since the UDP took office in 2008 and began spitefully and recklessly changing policies, cancelling programs and victimizing health officials. You can ask retired nurse ...

Berlan upsets Excellence 183-181 in cricket playoffs
Berlan of Bermudian Landing upset the defending champions, Excellence C.C. 182-181 in the first semifinal of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition in Double Head Cabbage on Saturday, June 1. Excellence batted first and ...

Geovanni Lovell wins weekend cycling race
Team Telemedia’s Giovanni Lovell won the 60-mile race on the Hummingbird Highway on Sunday June 2, 2013. Some 41 riders suited up for the ride from Belmopan to La Democracia Village on the George Price Highway, back ...

Lady Rebels sting Blazers 6-4 in softball
The Mirage Lady Rebels scorched the Belize Bank Blazers 6-4 in the Belize City women’s softball competition at the Roger’s Stadium on Friday, May 31. No runs were scored in the first ...

Who dropped the ball?? – Belize absent from important SICA-CARICOM trade meeting
Belize has always been considered the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean, but last week when an important trade and economy meeting was held with key business leaders of the two regions in Guatemala, that bridge was overlooked when Belize absented itself. The organisers of the ...

Did she really say that?!! – Babies’ families could expect hospital bill, no compensation, says KHMH Board Chair
The families of the thirteen newborns who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital continue to live a nightmare as they try to find the answers to their tragedy. The Minster of Health ...

AMAZING GRACE – Get Out and Stay Out
Today, so many people have a problem with self-control. An overweight woman will attend a party and eye the delicious pastries. “I’ll only take one,” she convinces herself. But, she then decides to take a little more. Despite understanding that the fatty food is not healthy for her, she keeps ...

BNTU wants Gender Policy halted
Since the launch of the Revised National Gender Policy 2013 by the National Women’s Commission, the Belize National Teachers’ Union has been following with great concern, the wide range of issues that have emanated from the contents of this gender policy. The Council of Management of the BNTU has ...

More UDP Corruption Exposed
“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism” - G. Edward Griffin At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Barrow tried to brush the worsening San Antonio Road scandal under the table. In doing that the PM said that there was nothing to worry ...

Valuing Your Self-Worth and Loving Yourself
“Only make decisions that support your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth” - Oprah Winfrey Do you know what it means to have self-worth? How do you determine what you are worth? Is your self-worth defined by someone else? Do you underestimate your value? I ask those questions because ...

What we must do to avoid squandering the temporary relief from debt restructuring
Belize was forced into commercial public-debt restructuring in 2006-7...and five-years after, it found itself in default, with need for another restructuring in 2012-13. In both scenarios....the respective governments claimed that the restructuring resulted in quantitative relief for Belize...saying that the government’s annual requirements for financing the debt was lowered. ...

Valedictorian Speech – Canaan High class of 2013
It is an honor to address you in such a glamorous fashion. I am privileged to be a part of this historic event. Canaan High this year celebrates its Silver Anniversary. Perhaps that is another reason for the mixed emotions. For me it is one of nostalgia ...

Valedictory Address 2013 – Xiaowen Huang – Edward P. Yorke High School
“I have a dream” were the words of the great Martin Luther King Junior. With those words he inspired a movement that changed a segregated America. Today America has a black president in a second term of office. Class of ...

Saint Catherine’s Academy celebrated its Graduation ceremonies for the class of 2013! The school was celebrating its 130th anniversary of existence — founded in 1883 by the Sisters of Mercy. The theme for the school year and graduation is — Excellence is asking more of yourself than others ask of you. 142 students were in the senior class –134 were successful. 43% of the class of 2013 graduated with honors which means maintaining honor roll status for three or all four years. ...

Parents demand answers! – “This was my 2nd child killed at KHMH,” says grieving mother, Marissa Cruz
Four of the thirteen parents, whose newborn babies died under the care and treatment of the medical personnel at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, spoke about their dreadful and tragic experience. Three of the parents spoke at the COLA press conference on Tuesday, while the fourth a mother spoke for the first time at the COLA protest today. The parents, Marissa Cruz, Magali Mai, Steven Panton and Harrison Sutherland say that before being admitted to the hospital, examinations done at various stages of the pregnancy showed a normal gestation. The parents said they had a normal delivery, aside from delivering premature babies, but the days that followed turned into a horrifying experience. ...

The death of a child is always heartwrenching. Children are to be protected, cherished, nurtured and encouraged to fulfill their full potential, and it is trite wisdom that children are the adults of our future, the leaders of the Belize we strive to create. Families, parents, guardians, ...

Belize Best and Brightest – Part III: Belize High School, ACC, Ladyville Tech & Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High
The BELIZE TIMES continues coverage of the 2013 high school graduation season with a look at Belize High School (BHS), Anglican Cathedral College (ACC), Ladyville Technical High School (LTHS) and Canaan Seventh-Day Adventist High School (CSDAHS). While Belize High School (BHS) is only 3 years old, the off-shoot of the Belize Elementary School (BES) has created – chartered even – a special space for the gifted. And 12 of them, having completed their high school education at this well-disciplined proving ground, will now march on to their graduation on Saturday, June 8th, at the BES Gymnasium in Belize City. Leading them will be the Valedictorian Steven Lam, and the Salutatorian Jani Reyes. ...

Who pays the piper…calls the tune!
An interesting thing happened this past weekend. A kind of high level tit for tat. A sizeable donation of $92,000 made by known Belize City businessman, Jack Chitendra Charles, to a telethon fundraiser held under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s current wife came at a most ...

PUP calls for withdrawal of revised National Gender Policy
On Wednesday June 5th, 2013 Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat met, at their invitation, with church leaders of the Cayo District particularly those representing Belmopan and surrounding communities. Following presentations from Pastors Scott Stirm and Louis Wade, the Party Leader addressed the ...

Reflections on the Public Square
For some time now I have wanted to get back to writing a weekly column for The BELIZE TIMES. My first BT column was a Youth Column written during my tenure as President of the Belize Youth Movement, the youth arm of the PUP, some 25 years ago. ...

HRCB condemns Police killings
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) is deeply disturbed that members of the Belize Police Department (BPD) have recently killed two men in highly questionable circumstances. Our concern is aggravated by the fact that over the several weeks going into months since these deaths the Police ...

Barrow’s Musical Chairs of DEBT! – Efforts to solve fiscal problems are “uninspiring”, says New York financial expert
Belize and other Caribbean countries have come under debt watch from economic analysts, after Moody’s Investor Service raised red ...

Response to ‘A few thoughts … from buttons to bottom of souls.’
I found the article, ‘A few thoughts … from buttons to bottom of souls’ at page 38 of the May 12, 2013 edition of the Amandala to be so astonishingly inaccurate and misinforming that I am compelled to analyze the flawed assumptions presented therein. In this article, the writer rehashes the ...

Petition: Stop the Spearing of Tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico
Good Day Fellow Sports Fishers, Tarpon are a migratory fish. They migrate from extreme ranges as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada to as far South as Argentina. From our observations over the years, tarpons begin migrating North in March. The migration goes on through to August. They slowdown in September ...


More on why Belize’s Great Blue Hole is so Great
With Belize’s stunning Great Blue Hole in the running to become the new 8th Wonder of the World, as mentioned in our blog post of June 5, we thought it only appropriate to give a bit more of a description of this incredible natural phenomenon. First of all, it’s big. Over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 127 metres (407 ft) deep it can be seen from outer space. Secondly, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. With every shade of blue imaginable ranging from the deepest indigo to aquamarine and turquoise and surrounded with a riot of colour from tropical fish, corals and other marine life, it’s a feast for the senses. Third, it’s part the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, the second largest barrier reef in the world, next to Australia’s, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that a visit to the Great Blue Hole gets you to Lighthouse Reef and in close proximity to the largest atolls in the world and other places of immense beauty such as Half Moon Caye and some of Belize’s other natural maritime wonders.

Caving Around Cayo
Cayo has the caves. The article is actually called '5 things to do in Belize besides diving' but the first 2 they mention are what Cayo excels at. Actun Chapat and ATM both get mentioned in the article. How they missed Crystal Paradise, which is known for amazing birding, nobody knows. "While neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala get all the press for Mayan sites, Belize was once the centre of the Mundo Maya. At its peak, the Mayan civilization in Belize is said to have reached over a million people. This means plenty of archaeological sites, some still buried under thick bush and, most fascinating of all, sacrificial caves now open to the public for supervised spelunking. You can hop on the popular Actun Tunichil Muknal tour to view the skeletal remains of a young Maya girl, but there are also others worth exploring. Arrange a visit to Actun Halal and Actun Chapat, in the western village of San Jose Succotz, through Belizean Sun Tours—there, your group will likely have the xibalba or Mayan underworld all to yourselves.

Vet Clinic in Bullet Tree
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies will be having a spay and neuter vet clinic tomorrow in Bullet Tree Falls, starting at 9:00am. Thanks, ISIS! "As part of ISIS's commitment to serving the communities in Belize, our summer students will be sponsoring and participating in spay/neuter vet clinics in these villages: Bullet Tree Falls, June 8, beginning at 9 am San Antonio (Cayo), June 22, beginning at 9 am San Jose Succotz, July 27, beginning at 9 am"

Feed The Children Fashion Show 2013
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their 2013 Feed the Children Fashion Show on July 13th, at 6:00pm. The venue this time is the Octavia Waight auditorium. The fashion show is fundraiser for their feeding program. You can get tickets for the event at their office starting in the middle of next week. Have a fun night while supporting a great cause at the some time. "All proceeds from this show will be going towards our Feeding Program, where we feed 98 primary school children and 12 elderly a daily lunch meal. Tickets Can Be Bought At Cornerstone Office, 43 Church Street, as Of June 12 2013!"

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Peenut Cookies Glute A'loose
I luv peenuts !! Yeers and yeers ago … almos ‘oncet upon a time’ .. I bouite packaged peenut cookies that were mah absolute favert ! I bouite 'um fer sevrul yeers , the , suddenlee thay were gone, nevr t'be see on grossry stere shelves agin! I tride ovr t'yeers t'copycat 'um n' mah kitchin but could nevr quite capture t'flavour that wuz locked into mah memry.

Bismillah The Case of Viola Pook
The case of Viola Pook was brought to national and international attention two months ago when Minister Farrakhan, in a question and answer session after his lecture to the prison population of the Belize Central Prison asked Ms Pook why she felt the need to kill the man she was convicted for killing. Viola Pook in front of the whole world recounted a story of betrayal, violence and eventual rape of a thirteen year old child she and her common-law husband of twenty three years had raised from the time the child was eight months old. When he did that treacherous act the dam broke and she soon after set him on fire which eventually caused his death. Ms Pook’s graphic recollection of her ordeal brought many who were present to tears.

Belize Primary School Examination's Top 26 Students
The 2013 Primary School Examination also known as the PSE has been released to the media for the top 26 students in the country of Belize. The 2013 PSE results reveal of the 26 Top Students, Siyun Ye from Bernice Yorke in Belize City has taken the top spot in this years PSE with an Overall Score of 391. It also reveals that of the 26 top students 14 are from Belize City, 7 from Cayo, 2 from Corozal, 1 from Orange Walk, 1 from Stann Creek, and 1 from Toledo. The results are as follows:

International Sources

Amid utilities' plan, a dam controversy: Fortis, community group spar over Belize record
In the small Central American country of Belize, three dams on a river that winds through a lush tropical forest produce inexpensive electricity and decreased oil purchases from Mexico, according to the Canadian holding company that owns them. But environmental advocates say Fortis Inc.’s hydroelectric venture destroyed dense jungle vegetation that was abundant with wildlife, polluted a river important for tourism and fishing for nearby villagers, and customers have yet to get a break on their electric bills. A few years after the Chalillo Dam was completed, another Fortis subsidiary that distributed power to the majority of Belizeans was taken over by the government due to risks associated with the company’s debt, according to Fortis. As Fortis seeks to buy CH Energy Group of Poughkeepsie, a mid-Hudson Valley group called Citizens for Local Power has made the concerns of the company’s opponents in Belize its own.

Embark on Four New Ocean Adventures with WPBT2’s Changing Seas this June
Changing Seas, an Emmy award-winning WPBT2 original series, premieres four exciting new episodes in primetime this June. This season viewers will explore the deep blue as never before, visiting some of our most exotic locales to date! Season 5 features a research trip to Belize where coral hybrids thrive, divers who search for a sunken slave ship, an encounter with the mysterious creatures that lurk in the deep, and an expedition to French Polynesia to study some of the most remote reefs in the world. EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS: SHOW#501: Coral Hybrids- Broadcast Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – 8:00pm ET While Elkhorn and Staghorn corals have undergone a drastic decline in the Caribbean, their hybrid, “Fused Staghorn,” is increasing in numbers in parts of the region. One scientist is studying the animals in Belize to see if the hybrid might be better equipped to deal with environmental stressors than its parents.

OAS member countries discuss drug policies and other matters
The representatives of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday finished expressing their points of view on the topic “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas” during the third plenary session of the 43rd General Assembly, which took place in Antigua, Guatemala. They agreed, in general, on the need to identify better policies for tackling the drugs problem in the hemisphere, and they noted the importance of the Report on the Problem of Drugs in the Americas, which was presented by the Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, as a starting point for their discussions. Following the order in which they requested the floor, 18 heads of delegation spoke, in addition to the 14 who addressed the Assembly on Wednesday. In their addresses, the heads of delegation applauded the OAS’s report and described it as an essential contribution for the start of an open and high-level debate.


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